Quick Summary of Acupuncture To Relieve Pain (What Can It Really Do For You?)
- Acupuncture Relieves Pain
- Acupuncture and Neurological Injuries
- Acupuncture and Weight Loss
- Acupuncture and Nausea
- Acupuncture and Arthritis
- Acupuncture and Psoriasis
- Acupuncture and Sinus Issues
- The Future of Acupuncture Treatment
- Alternative Medicine vs. Prescribed Medication
Even though acupuncture has been around for centuries, the general public still views it with doubt. The practice has millions of advocates worldwide who swear by its benefits. But there are still so many who have never tried it or even considered trying it.
Theories abound as to how acupuncture accomplishes what it does. But the pain relief benefits are extensively documented. The science of acupuncture centers on inserting thin needles into certain places on the body to stimulate qi(“chee”).
Qi refers to the life-energy that flows through the body. The insertion of the needles tells the body to release endorphins which are natural pain-relievers.
We hope you’ll consider the information in this article about what acupuncture has done for so many people. Using acupuncture to relieve pain is certainly one of the most common reasons people use it. But direct pain relief is only one of the things it can do for you.
Acupuncture Relieves Pain
Acupuncture is known to give relief to people with chronic pain, particularly back pain. There are countless reviews online of people saying they tried pretty much everything before. Medication, physical therapy, chiropractors, and more.
When nothing works, people tend to be more open to trying acupuncture. (Hopefully, soon people will consider it as a first or second option instead of last option). But once they try it, the results speak for themselves.
Acupuncture can eliminate pain, relieve it, or make it manageable depending on the circumstance. It can also reduce inflammation, neuropathic pain, headaches, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, and more.
We’ll address some of these below. Like in any field of medicine, some who practice it are better or more experienced than others. The skill level of the practitioner plays a role in how effective the results are.
How Does Acupuncture Relieve Pain?
In addition to the endorphin-release explanation, there are two other common theories as to why acupuncture to relieve pain works so well. One is the belief that when the needles are inserted into the pressure points, connectivity tissue in that area actually changes.
This change is believed to be permanent. Which is why patient’s pain relief lasts so long; sometimes permanently.
The other theory involves a particular nerve in the body that runs from the colon to the brain stem. It’s called the vagus nerve.
It’s believed that when this nerve is stimulated, it lowers inflammation. Inflammation is one of the main causes of chronic pain.
Acupuncture and Neurological Injuries
The study of acupuncture’s effect on neurological injuries has been going on for some time. Studies have involved both humans and animals.
Many of these involve dogs suffering from paralyzation and spinal cord injuries. Acupuncture to relieve pain has shown fantastic results in many of these tests, bringing back movement to limbs and muscles.
People who have been paralyzed from car accidents have participated in many of these studies. Acupuncture has been shown to bring back feeling and movement to various degrees in different areas of the body.
Feet, hands, and face, particularly. Impaired smiling and speech has been improved. Some participants had previously been told they would never have feeling or movement in specific areas. Acupuncture often proves these statements wrong.
What about serious neurological problems not related to physical paralysis? Though research on this topic is ongoing, results are inconclusive as of this writing.
Experts are hopeful that as more research is done, we’ll find that acupuncture has many neurological benefits. Even for people with severe issues. The fact that we have proof it works well for paralysis is a very positive sign.
The idea behind acupuncture and other regenerative and alternative therapies is let the body heal itself. If these therapies continue to reduce the need for surgery and opioids, even better and bigger changes will come.
However, enough positive proof exists when it comes to acupuncture and nerve damage. If you have nerve damage of any kind, it’s highly recommended that you try acupuncture if you haven’t already.
Acupuncture and Weight Loss
Before you chalk up acupuncture as “yet another weight loss fad”, hear us out. We fully understand that there are so many weight loss methods out there that it’s almost a joke. People are always looking for a “lose weight fast” program, similar to a “get rich quick” scheme.
The success rates of these programs are often poor. And when it comes to using acupuncture as a weight-loss technique, the research thus far is minimal. There have been no big, controlled studies to date. Despite that, enough positive evidence exists that it’s worth mentioning here.
Over the years, acupuncture specialists have discovered that there are pressure points on the ear associated with appetite. Two pressure points, to be exact.
People with overeating habits participated in acupuncture studies that helped them quell their excessive appetites to a noticeable degree. Though these studies were small, the results were promising.
Some participants were studied for 3 weeks and others for 6. Both groups lost weight. Those in the 6-week group lost the most.
Relationships between acupuncture and the human microbiome are being studied as well. The microbiome refers collectively to all the fungi, viruses, and bacteria inside your body.
Some of these elements are harmful and are disease-related, while others are helpful and very important. Particularly to weight, the heart, and the immune system.
Data from some studies revealed that acupuncture markedly lowered the number of harmful bacteria in obese participants.
Electro-acupuncture has actually had a more positive effect on weight loss than traditional. So far, many specialists believe that there’s a reason these preliminary acupuncture-weight loss tests are showing good results.
They say it’s because the inflammation, pain, mood, and anxiety benefits affect the person in other ways. Obese people are usually in constant pain in some form or another. And acupuncture relieves pain better than anything else.
Acupuncture and Nausea
Many people utilize acupuncture to reduce or eliminate what’s sometimes called side-effect nausea. This is the nausea people experience as a result of a medical procedure or medication. Many people enduring chemotherapy are nauseated.
Certain medications cause nausea. Anesthesia has been known to cause it. All of these can be helped with acupuncture. Even people who are easily nauseated in general have sought help (successfully) from acupuncture.
Acupuncture and Arthritis
Evidence exists that acupuncture helps diminish many of the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. As we’ve already discussed, one of the main things acupuncture helps with is inflammation.
A lot of the pain associated with RA is founded in inflammation; upper neck and joints, in particular. The most successful studies in this regard involve electroacupuncture with participants who had knee pain.
Electroacupuncture still involves needles. The difference is that the needles get small doses of electric current after they’re inserted for further stimulation.
The good news is that many people who took part in these studies experienced close to immediate relief. Within 24 hours, they reported that using acupuncture to relieve pain worked.
Many of these people reported four months later that the relief still hadn’t subsided. The sample size where this information comes from is small, but the results are still exciting.
Another study involved using pressure points in the ear to help rheumatoid arthritis patients. Not only did many of these participants experience pain relief, but even their blood samples were healthier.
Acupuncture and Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. It manifests itself with red patches on the skin that are usually inflamed and scaly. The research that exists on whether or not acupuncture helps patients with psoriasis is limited but positive.
People who suffer from this chronic condition typically have their symptoms flare up during stress. Acupuncture is great at relieving stress. Also, one of the sub-conditions of this disorder is called psoriatic arthritis which can be very painful. Acupuncture can relieve that, too. A few studies are worth mentioning
One involves over 50 participants with psoriasis. After less than 10 acupuncture sessions, over half the people saw an almost total removal of all their lesions.
Another study involving over 75 psoriasis participants resulted in similar findings after only a few sessions.
Acupuncture and Sinus Issues
Do you have sinus problems? Acupuncture may be able to help. Mucus-producing spaces in your cheeks, nose, eyes, and forehead make up your sinuses.
Healthy sinuses are empty. But many people have issues where their sinuses are blocked or partially blocked.
This can be caused by polyps, smoke, dust, pollutants, the common cold, allergies, and more. People with sinus problems often feel pressure behind their eyes and nose, nasal congestion, and headaches. Allergy pills and decongestants are usually what people spend their money on to treat their sinuses.
But these medicines only help temporarily. Acupuncture is designed to have a farther-reaching positive effect on sinuses.
According to acupuncture experts, there are certain pressure points that are directly related to sinus activity. When stimulated with needles, your body reacts positively to those specific areas. Patients with allergic rhinitis, in particular, have received great relief from acupuncture.
Allergic rhinitis is when nasal mucus membranes become inflamed. This causes postnasal drip, sinus pressure, headaches, runny nose, and congestion. Many patients who have tried acupuncture to relieve pain report that they no longer need antihistamines.
The Future of Acupuncture Treatment
The future is bright for acupuncture. Various studies are being done all over the world, testing its limits to see what undiscovered benefits it may have. Research is currently being done on its purported effects on tinnitus, chemotherapy-related pain, hot flashes, and so much more.
We can’t stress this enough, but if you have chronic pain or some other condition, try acupuncture to relieve pain. If you feel like you’ve tried everything you can think of to find relief and nothing’s worked, try acupuncture.
You’ll never know if it works until you try it. Many of our patients have been pleasantly surprised. Some have had life-changing results.
Alternative Medicine vs. Prescribed Medication
Before we list the benefits of acupuncture, consider something. America has an opioid crisis. Millions – yes, millions – of people are addicted to medication. It’s well beyond the point of concern. This is one of the main reasons why alternative medicine is becoming more popular every year.
People are becoming more aware of the harmful effects of prescribed medicine. This is isn’t to say that all prescribed medicine is inherently bad. But the risks associated with using opioids to treat medical conditions are very high.
Alternate medicine, particularly regenerative therapies, is less risky. Some are totally risk-free.
Acupuncture to relieve pain is even sometimes used in treatment centers to help wean people off of their addictive substance.
This article isn’t about opioids. It’s about using acupuncture to relieve pain! But as you learn more about this and other forms of alternative medicine, consider the alternative.
Treatments like acupuncture are no longer woo-woo. Enough people are utilizing them and experiencing incredible benefits that they need to be considered.
Acupuncture To Relieve Pain (What Can It Really Do For You?) – Conclusion
As you can guess from what you’ve read here, we need more research before any concrete medical claims can be made. But enough people have experienced positive results that acupuncture needs to be talked about more.
Especially in light of the opioid epidemic, we have no reason not to try. Are you tired of all the money that you spend on medications? Tired of all the time you spend picking them up? Acupuncture could give you the long-term relief you’ve been hoping for.
For more information on using acupuncture to relieve pain or any other regenerative medicine, reach out to us. We have specialists who are happy to talk to you. Also, browse our website for additional resources.